The Army released suicide data today for the month of March. Among active-duty soldiers, there were seven potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicide, and seven remain under investigation. For February 2011, the Army reported eight potential suicides among active-duty soldiers. Since the release of that report, one case has been confirmed as suicide, and seven cases remain under investigation.
During March 2011, among reserve component soldiers who were not on active duty, there were eight potential suicides: none have been confirmed as suicide, and eight remain under investigation. For February 2011, among that same group, there were eight total potential suicides. Of those, three were confirmed as suicides and five are pending determination of the manner of death.
“Army efforts to improve suicide prevention awareness, education and support that is readily available to all members of the Army family continue to be of paramount importance to senior Army leadership. Informed and engaged leaders at every level help foster a sense of responsibility in soldiers, Army civilians and family members.” said Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy director, Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction Task Force. “Leaders will reduce the stigma associated with seeking help by promoting positive behavioral health opportunities that include physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual well-being,” Philbrick said.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1–800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
The Army’s comprehensive list of Suicide Prevention Program information is located at http://www.preventsuicide.army.mil .
Army leaders can access current health promotion guidance in newly revised Army Regulation 600–63 (Health Promotion) at: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r600_63.pdf and Army Pamphlet 600–24 (Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention) at http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/p600_24.pdf .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/training_sub.asp?sub_cat=20 (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at http://www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1–800-342–9647for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
Information about the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program is located at http://www.army.mil/csf/ .
The Defense Center for Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Outreach Center can be contacted at 1–866-966‑1020, via electronic mail at Resources@DCoEOutreach.org and at http://www.dcoe.health.mil .
The website for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is http://www.TAPS.org and they can be reached at 1–800-959-TAPS (8277).
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)